Nina Nastasia | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Nina Nastasia

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On her first new album in three years, On Leaving (Fat Cat), New York folk-rocker Nina Nastasia is still searching for beauty and contentment amid the wreckage of failed relationships. Her voice is more assured than ever, yet she still conveys a fragility that makes these bleakly romantic and wistfully nostalgic songs utterly believable. A delicate, spare mix of guitar, piano, and viola suffuses the thoroughly contemporary arrangements with the brittle power of old-timey music, and Steve Albini's engineering makes every detail--from the ghostly viola scrapes in "Jim's Room" to the metallic, thundering percussion in "Treehouse Song"--hit like a bomb. Bitter Tears and Cape May open. Wed 9/13, 9:30 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600, $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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